As the regular season winds down, South Side continues to trend up in Conference A2. The girls’ basketball club hosted Bellmore JFK in a conference matchup last Saturday, hoping to return to the win column and did so with a 62-55 victory.
It was the 13th win for the Cyclones, who’ll look to head into the Class A playoffs on a roll.
It was a similar feel for how South Side started the contest as it trailed early by as many as four. The Cyclones responded with a 9-0 run in the opening quarter and never looked back.
“They just get more comfortable,” head coach Dan Ferrick said. “We always say the first three minutes of the game is our worst three minutes of the game. We’re trying to get past that.”
South Side played without its leading scorer, junior Kyla Murphy (12 points per game), who sat out with a minor ankle injury suffered in a game earlier last week. She is expected to return for the final two regular-season games.
However, sophomore Charlotte Rathjen continued her strong play with a double double of 13 points and 18 rebounds in the contest. Rathjen’s 13 points led the Cyclones in scoring as she continues to average a double double for the season.
“Charlotte has been dominating since the first game,” Ferrick said. “This has been all season, so that’s one of the things we’re kind of blessed about.”
One area that was noticeable in the contest was South Side’s full court-press. The strategy allowed the Cyclones to force some turnovers and ultimately sink some baskets as well.
“It’s a full team effort,” Rathjen said. “Everyone knows their spot well for everyone else to succeed.”
As much as Rathjen stole the show on both ends of the floor, the team was able to establish some strong ball movement in the paint and trust one another to make shots. This allows others to get involved in the game, like sophomore Taylor Hansman, who provided 8 points off the bench.
“Our team has been together since November,” Rathjen said. “We’re just all in sync and we know everyone’s strengths and weaknesses.”
Ten different players found the scoresheet for South Side, including Dakota Evans, who hit double figures despite finding herself in foul trouble. Freshman Elle Lennon hit two three pointers to lead the way in that department.
The Cyclones have just two regular season matchups remaining with their last one being a highly anticipated rematch on the road against Garden City. South Side fell to the Wings back on Jan. 13 by a final of 46-38.
“We’re definitely looking forward to the rematch against Garden City, but we’re obviously going to game plan for Elmont first,” Rathjen said.
Next up though, is a rematch with Elmont at home after South Side took down the Spartans on Jan. 10 by 15 points.
“We’re not looking ahead,” Ferrick said. “We need to beat Elmont so we can guarantee ourselves the second seed in the conference.”